Thermal transient analysis is considered, in the present paper, as a favourable approach for a better understanding of the phenomena related to thermal exchange into a disk brake: the definition of transient thermal fields in supposed to allow, through iterative methods, a more precise definition of the heat affected physical properties of the materials involved in the component.
Both experimental test, or mathematical modelling were used and found suitable to define the evolving boundary conditions along a full braking cycle. The choice of the actual approach appeared anyway linked to the possibility of a precise scanning of the thermal behaviour of the surface of the disk, its deformation and of the instability conditions occuring at the pad-disk interface.
Moreover the boundary conditions, in continous evolution with the vehicle speed, depend on the surrounding environment and on the wheel geometry and cannot be considered as steady ones. The mathematical model was consequently set up gathering all the variables and assuring their evolution with the heat generation of the disk and the heat-exchange to the environment; the model was also allowed to modify, at each integration step, the pad-disk interface conditions and consequently rearrange heat generation data.
The large size of this mathematical model is affecting its operation cost to the point of avoiding its routinary use, but its accouracy justifies its application in phenomenological studies.